Saturday, March 23, 2013

Grown-Up Sloppy Joes

I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while. My first introduction to this recipe was on a Food Network show which toured different restaurants and featured their most popular dishes. This one seemed simple, wholesome, and yummy, so Sean and I decided to give it a try. It got several thumbs up from our gaming group (which consists almost completely of hungry college students) and requests for seconds and thirds from our children. Clearly a winner!

Grown-Up Sloppy Joes
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1 large onion, finely diced)
2 tbsp. nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
8-12 cloves of garlic, finely diced (depends on your personal tastes)
3 lbs of ground beef (with low fat content)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Worcestershire sauce to taste

Start out by cooking the carrots, celery, and onion in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in the garlic for an additional minute. Add the salt, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper, and beef, cooking until the beef is browned through. Do not drain the juices, and do not brown it into too small of pieces! Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to cook on low for 30 minutes to get all the flavors married together (I usually end up throwing the entire mixture into a crock pot on low for a few hours - the flavor cannot be beat!). This makes a HUGE amount of sloppy joe mix, but thankfully it reheats beautifully and I cannot see a single reason why the mixture can't be frozen for up to three months. Would make a wonderful frozen meal to pull out on busy days when slaving over a stove for hours isn't feasible.